a task orientated, home, care service. The visit to
your home means that certain tasks, as detailed in your care plan, have to be
done. Not to do them means a black mark against the care worker and the care
provider. The care provision is the same each time.
In this situation the work gets done, but is this the
care service that the majority of recipients want?
Is this kind of home care really wanted?
Surely home care should not just be about fulfilling
practical needs. The evidence shows that increasingly older people are
describing themselves as lonely. So, does a care worker coming in on a time
clock to fulfil the specification of the care plan meet the social or emotional
needs of an individual who may not see any other person that day or the next?
Our home care services are becoming so prescriptive
that there is no time for conversation, no time to encourage and facilitate
community activities (which could lead to less social isolation), to enable
simple pleasures like a walk around a garden, to help arrange other activities
that a person might need help with e.g. getting a tradesman in; choosing
wallpaper; having a chat about last night’s television or a book being read.
These are all simple social activities able people take for granted.
Too many different care workers add to the feeling of
not being seen as an individual but as someone who no-one needs to know.
Relationships in any walk of life are necessary, give pleasure and
re-assurance, but to have one you must get to know each other.
Social Care in 2019
Social care as received by many older people is in
restraint. It has become depersonalised and a thing to be endured. Care
providers are controlled by local government specifications and national
regulators. In state paid for care packages there is very little room for
deviation on a care plan, yet the mantra is that care should be person centred
and consumer directed.
Private fee payers and individuals receiving direct
payments have some flexibility, but the worry of any care provider is that when
their care provision is audited an individual inspector may not view the
flexibility in the same light.
Many care homes have been given negative marks by
regulating inspectors but hidden within the reports are the messages that, when
asked, relatives of the residents were happy with the service that was being
received. Who should be the judge here?
Social care, not production line care, should be the
aim of everyone involved in care provision. We just have to ask ourselves how
we would like to be cared for if the needs arise.